When the Voice in My Head Says I Can’t Be Happy With Chronic Illness

Dear me,

I know it’s hard. You’ve been fighting this battle practically your whole life and “exhausted” doesn’t even begin to describe how you feel. You are never a burden for needing extra help or support — the only person who believes you are a burden is you.

You are such a brave person and you deserve to be treated in the best way possible. Not like a victim, not like a survivor, but like a person. I mean, that’s all you have ever wanted, isn’t it? To not be scared to tell people of your illness in case they react badly, to not feel like you are being toxic to a friend or a relative when you finally confess to being in pain. But you also have to accept the fact that not everyone is going to love you for you. No matter how lovely you are to people, there will always be that one person who refuses to accept you as you are. Whether that is your family or whether that’s your own best friend, just know they aren’t worth the breath you are fighting for.

You deserve the world, not just the sea.

There is so much negativity that goes hand in hand with bearing the weight of a chronic illness, especially when it is and has been your entire life — but you mustn’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you that you can’t lead a happy life. You have so much to look forward to:

  • Getting that new dog you have always wanted
  • Moving out and being able to do things your own way
  • Getting a job you enjoy that not only supports you, but takes into account your illness and does all they can to help you
  • Finally learning to drive (although that still terrifies you)
  • Getting a car (although that still terrifies you, too)

And all you hear is that little annoying voice in the back of your head telling you that all you are and will ever be is this illness. I am so proud of you for getting through the days that felt like hell and made you come closer than an inch to giving up. You made it and you will make it.

I love you and I’m sorry I don’t show you enough,


P.S. Please take whatever help people try to give you. It’s not because you’re broken.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to yourself on the day of the diagnosis. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

3 Tips for Coping With the Disappointments of Chronic Illness

The hardest thing for me to deal with in having a chronic illness is the disappointment. I find myself constantly disappointed in my body. On days like today (Easter Sunday), I should be able to go to church, go out with family or friends and be a “normal” 26-year-old. And yet, I’m so tired, and [...]
Businesswoman working at her office desk with documents and laptop

How I Learned to Balance Work With My Chronic Illness

Balancing employment and health is a challenging experience. The demands of a job and the toll of stress and exertion upon a chronically ill body is a balancing act not to be taken lightly. But with proper care, the right circumstances and a bit of luck, it can be achieved. Although my pediatric doctor adamantly [...]

When People Think Doing Things With a Chronic Illness Is a Matter of ‘Trying Harder’

When I was 19, I was an independent, healthy woman. I could do what everyone else could do. I could drive, work and go to school. Everything was doable. I had plans like everyone else. Though I was bad at seeing them through, I did have them. Then in 2009, my life went through a [...]

When Chronic Illness Makes You More Vulnerable in Relationships

After disclosing about my own journey through broken-heartedness and divorce while dealing with my chronic illness, I heard from several people who had gone through similar trials, and it touched my heart. Regardless of the type of relationship, I believe those of us with a chronic illness are more vulnerable in our relationships than our [...]